Testicular cancer is the most common cancer among men under 40 in Europe and the US. The national statistics of the Cancer League show 471 new cases and 12 deaths in Switzerland. In general, the prospects for successful treatment of testicular cancer over time are good and are further improved, especially if diagnosed early. Even if there are already metastases, testicular cancer can be successfully treated with appropriate therapy in most cases.
New classification enables even more targeted treatment
The primary treatment for testicular cancer is removal of the affected testicle. However, the disease is often only discovered at a stage in which metastases are already present and then after the primary surgical procedure medical or radiological follow-up treatment is necessary. With the new data, a more precise classification of the metastatic disease stages was carried out in order to enable even more targeted therapy planning and implementation.
In many cases we can give drugs a little more targeted. At the same time, we have an increased certainty that we will not miss a case with an aggressive course. And with the new classification, there is a double benefit for the patient: less treatment effort with regard to chemotherapy and increased certainty of results. “
Prof. Dr. med. Jörg Beyer, co-initiator of the study project and first author of one of the two publications of the IGCCCG Update Consortium
International research consortium conducts extensive study
Earlier treatment guidelines were based on data from 1975 to 1990 with a total of 5862 patients. The new study compared these results with more recent data from 1990 to 2013 and a larger number of patients. The International Germ-Cell Cancer Collaborative Group Update (IGCCCG Update Consortium) research consortium examined data from 30 medical centers in 17 countries (Australia, Europe, Russia and America). The study included the documentation of 12,149 patients with metastatic testicular cancer. Particular attention was paid to possible criteria that could help refine the classification.
And one more piece of good news: better prognosis for testicular cancer patients
Compared to the original data, the new study results showed that the prognosis has improved significantly in all cases. In the “good prognosis” classification, the 5-year survival rate rose from 86% to a new 95%. And in the “Interim Forecast” group, this value rose from 72% to 88%. The improvement was most impressive in the group with largely metastatic diseases and the worst prognosis: the 5-year survival rate rose from 48% to 67%. Prof. Dr. med. Daniel Aebersold, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UCI University Cancer Center Inselspital, adds: “The study impressively demonstrates the progress made in cancer therapy. In a good twenty years, the prospects for a long-term tumor could be significantly improved “-free life after a testicular cancer diagnosis.”
The next step is to incorporate the findings of the consortium into treatment guidelines and to reduce the burden of cancer therapy. In addition, new approaches to the treatment of metastatic testicular cancer should be considered, as they are currently being investigated in a SAKK study, which aims at a combination of radio and chemotherapy. It can be assumed that optimized therapies for testicular cancer will lead to a further improved prognosis with reduced treatment intensity in the coming years.
Inselspital, Bern University Hospital
Beyer, J., et al. (2021) Survival and New Forecasters in Metastatic Seminoma: Findings from the IGCCCG Update Consortium. Journal of Clinical Oncology. doi.org/10.1200/JCO.20.03292.